Holding on to Love After You’ve Lost a Baby: The 5 Love Languages for Grieving Parents – Gary Chapman and Candy McVicar

Holding on to Love After You've Lost a Baby
Holding on to Love After You've Lost a Baby: The 5 Love Languages for Grieving Parents by Gary Chapman, Candy McVicar
Series: The Five Love Languages
Published by Northfield Publishing on April 7, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Marriage, Parenting
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five-stars

Almost everyone will agree, the loss of a child is the worst grief that humans can experience. And that crushing grief puts immense strain on the marriage, family relationships, and friendships that few can understand. That’s why this book was written. In it Candy McVicar, a grieving mom who leads a ministry for grieving parents, and Dr. Gary Chapman, relationship expert and author of The 5 Love Languages®, team up to help couples who are facing the unimaginable.
They’ll teach you how to:
cope with the complex feelings that come with the grief processunderstand your spouse’s unique grieving needs and support him/heruse the five love languages in grief-appropriate waysThere is nothing that can make the pain of losing a child go away, but you can get help coping with it. This is a perfect resource for grieving parents or friends who’d like to help.

In this gentle, life-affirming book, Gary Chapman and Candy McVicar provide guidance for parents who are grieving the loss of a baby. The authors primarily focus on miscarriage, stillbirth, and early infant death, but they also briefly address grief from abortion, and much of their advice holds true for parents who have lost an older child. The authors are sensitive and comforting, and this book is full of personal testimonies, well-researched psychological advice, and self-reflection exercises. This is a great resource for Christian parents who have lost a baby, and readers who do not share the authors’ faith can also find this helpful and encouraging.

Candy McVicar has lost babies to both stillbirth and miscarriage, and now runs a grief care organization for people who have lost children under a variety of circumstances. She shares her testimony with raw, personal details, and also shares stories from other parents who have lost children. Gary Chapman’s sections of the book support hers, providing additional guidance and sharing about how parents can draw on The Five Love Languages to keep their relationship strong. This element of the book is not gimmicky at all, and is based in McVicar’s personal experience. When she and her husband lost their first child to stillbirth, they found Chapman’s resources transformative as they went through this loss together.

Holding on to Love After You’ve Lost a Baby: The 5 Love Languages for Grieving Parents is also not just for parents. The authors address some chapters to family and friends, helping people understand how to support their grieving loved ones and avoid saying and doing hurtful things. The authors also acknowledge the grief and complex emotions that family and friends experience when a baby dies. This book is very gentle, thorough, practical, and life-affirming, and I highly recommend it.

five-stars